Posted by Allison M. Dickson | File under : , , ,
As an amateur psychologist wannabe, I have often felt comfortable (perhaps too comfortable) diagnosing people with all manner of mental pathology. It's gotten easier after a good bit of practice. All it takes is a very close examination of a person's tendencies and nuances and a knowledge of some clinical vocabulary. Psychologists employ many tools to help analyze the mind, from written tests to personality inventories to fancy ink splatters. But I'm here to present a more seasonally appropriate way to determine whether someone is suffering from a mental illness, and that is by examining the state of their Christmas light displays.

Now, of course, such a test comes equipped with certain drawbacks. For instance, there is not a single shred of scientific verifiability here. Like the Rorschach, the Christmas Light Personality Test (or CLPT as we call it in the pseudo-psychobabble trade) is vulnerable to the subjective interpretation of the test-taker. But don't let that stop you from making valuable insights about your neighbors. I'll provide you with a basic guide that will help you make the most accurate assessments possible as you drive through your neighborhood during the months of November, December, and January. For Christmas light displays between the months of March and October, that's a whole other level of mental pathology not covered in this particular test. Consider those citizens beyond help and promptly move.

Now let's get started, shall we?

1. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The minimal, monochromatic display exhibits the decorator's repressed sexuality. If the homeowner is a woman, she likely wears her hair pulled back in a tight bun and pairs this with long skirts, support hose, and scratchy wool cardigans. The male is equally conservative and is likely repressing homosexual tendencies through the extensive use of color coordinated sweater vests. Expect to see an abnormally large number of cats and Amy Grant CDs inside this home.

2. The Anally Expulsive
The anally-expulsive decorator, in opposite polarity to the anal retentive one, exhibits elements of disorganization and carelessness caused by being allowed to use feces as a form of artistic expression during the toddler years. It is also possible that people who decorate this way have experienced traumas that forced them to regress to the age of five, when such a display would have been the pinnacle of winterland fantasy. Or, and this is the more likely explanation, this person is addicted to meth and strung up these lights in the midst of a four day ride on the dragon. As a precaution, do not light a match inside this home.

3. The Projectionist
Decorators of this variety will likely insist that you are a tacky individual who puts crappy, amateur Christmas decorations on your house when they are really just talking about themselves. The inflatable snowman is also representative of the ego or possible erectile dysfunction.

4. The Repressed Matrix
This decorator was presented with a red pill, which would extract him from a computer-generated mind program designed to enslave humanity, and a blue pill that would make him blissfully ignorant of the "real world." He chose the blue pill, but his subconscious mind continues to replay buried memories of his experiences fighting bad guys called Agents, and looking at the world through a cascade of computer code, which is manifested by the above light display.

5. The Compensator
Penis, stature, bank account. Just pick one. Or all of the above.

6. The Acrophobic
The untouched second story indicates that this decorator was loathe to install lights with the assistance of a ladder, likely due to a fear of heights. Either that, or the house is occupied by dwarfs. Dwarfs afraid of heights. Or dwarfs without a ladder.

7. The Dissociative Identity
The disproportionately large numbers of inflatable and light-up figures in this person's yard suggests a subconscious expression of the decorator's myriad personalities. The large snowman in the middle represents the dominant personality, suggesting that the person is rather cold-hearted, yet vulnerable to change.

8. Dashed Hopes
The decorator aimed high, yet encountered an insurmountable obstacle, rendering the once ambitious display incomplete. Or, maybe the decorator fell victim to a rickety ladder, and the surviving spouse decided to light the remainder as a tribute to the fallen.

9. Gender Confusion or The Compromise
The decorator of this home is very likely a transvestite. Here we witness the subconscious struggling with the masculine rigidity of the blue lights and the feminine flamboyance of the multi-colored festivity bedecking the window. Could also be the sign of a disagreement between spouses, where the wife let the husband hang his stupid blue lights around the door, but only if he promised to finally clean all the junk of the goddamn porch.

10. The Freud

Sometimes a palm tree light display is a palm tree light display, though I think it's prudent to go with the most obvious diagnosis here: Urolagnia.